A brilliant premise, a talented cast all playing themselves, or a twisted version, the opportunity for many belly laughs are there, so why doesn’t it work?

Here’s why.

If you have a great idea but decide to pad it out with three music videos, it states clearly that you don’t have enough material to fill a film.

Having the Apatow set playing themselves during the end of the world is a cool concept but be wary, it could easily turn out cheap and tacky. Fortunately for them the majority of the scenes work, it just needed more polishing to lift it above a home movie that they could show to their mates.

Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and featuring a some very funny actors, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, and a bunch of cool cameos: Paul Rudd, Martin Starr, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari and David Krumholtz who gets by far the funniest scene (”you can hold onto my full weight?”).

There are plenty of very funny moments in this film; it just doesn’t gel as a whole; it’s half-baked. Rogen and Goldberg made a lot of money with this film and some would say that is success, in a way, yes, but artistically?

Ever since Freaks and Geeks the Apatow alumni have been making some very funny films and so the bar is high. Pineapple Express, Superbad, hell even Knocked Up, all better films than This is the End. But for every Superbad there are several Observe and Reports/Bad Neighbours.

The rapture ending didn’t work, far too Christian and shoe-horned in an otherwise unrelated world.

Finally, The Backstreet Boys. Oh dear. So unnecessary. It smacks of rich kids getting to live out their fantasies in a public arena and shouldn’t be allowed. If this was some Z-lister film that no-one but the teens would see, then fair play, but more should be expected from talent such as these.

3/5 (For the laughs, when they happened)





Again, here we have a premise that could have been a killer. Unfortunately, it comes across as a drama student project. Not left in the oven long enough. The guilty parties specifically being Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. Yawn.

Unconvincingly directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek) this is about a bunch of frat boys (including Zac Efron and Dave Franco) who move into a neighbourhood, next door to a 30-something couple with a newborn (Rogen, Byrne and a baby) . The couple still want to be seen as cool and party heads, but very quickly get tired of the noise and end up calling the police, creating a war between the two parties.

Hilarity should ensue, but the coupling of Rogen and Byrne just doesn’t ring true and either the script they were given was terrible or their chemistry and improvisational skills leave a bitter taste. Seth Rogen being usually adept at this.
It’s embarrassing as their tête-à-têtes go on for far too long and are neither funny nor clever.

A shame then, that Efron and Franco show much deeper comedic skills than the two leads. Efron, who could easily have been written off as that High School Musical kid, is showing the world that he has talent beyond the world of Disney. He was great in Liberal Arts and is definitely one to watch.

Franco shows some great comedic timing here and is also one to watch, stepping out of the shadow of his brother and making a name for himself. He was sturdy in 21 Jump St. A worthy mention should go to Jerrod Carmichael as one of the frat boys, whose delivery and later scenes with the very funny Hannibal Buress are by far the best parts of the movie. Also, the surprise appearance of Craig Roberts (Submarine) felt forced and badly edited, a poor reflection on the film-makers rather than the talented actor.

A sloppy film that, like many others had potential but ultimately didn’t know what to do with itself. Again, half baked. Someone should have shut down the improv-fest betwixt Rogen and Byrne.
Tighten up.